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Teen drivers, teen passengers a deadly combination

Teenage drivers flooding Florida’s roadways during the summertime mean danger for all motorists, and when teenage passengers are present in a teen driver’s vehicle, the stakes are even higher. Research shows that the mere presence of a teenage passenger raises fatality risks for all parties in a teen driver-involved crash.  

According to AAA, everyone involved in a crash with a teen driver and one or more teen passengers faces a 51% higher chance of dying in a car wreck because of the passenger or passengers. The dangers are even more notable for those riding in or driving other cars and trucks, with these individuals facing a 56% higher chance of dying in such a crash. Cyclists and pedestrians involved in these crashes are 17% more likely to die because of the presence of the teen passenger.  

Why having young passengers raises fatality risks

When a teen motorist has a teenage passenger traveling in the vehicle alongside him or her, the chances of the driver becoming distracted increase. Teen drivers also lack the experience other drivers have, making them even more likely to succumb to driver distraction. 

Why the age of the passenger matters

Research shows that when teen drivers have passengers in their cars who are over 35, the passenger’s presence actually diminishes fatality risks for everyone involved in a crash. Thus, the passenger’s age, and not the sheer presence of the passenger, appears to be what matters.  

Parents of teenage drivers may wish to set restrictions as far as when their teen drivers may have young passengers present in their vehicles to help reduce fatality numbers.